The Men of Steel came from two goals down to edge the Lions.
Jamshedpur FC showed a spirited performance at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur as they came back from being two goals down to notch up a 3-2 victory over Delhi Dynamos FC on Sunday. With this result, the league debutants bagged back-to-back wins for the first time in Indian Super League (ISL) and moved to the fifth position in the league table.
Jamshedpur’s head coach Steve Coppell addressed the media post the thriller. He started off by mentioning what led them to concede two quick goals in the first place.
“The reason behind the two goals conceded was that we were playing against a very dangerous team with real pace in wide areas,” the Englishman explained. “The two goals were very similar; crosses coming in from the left side. If anything, we were defending a little bit narrow when we should have been defending wider. We gave them encouragement to play down the wide areas. Once we readjusted, then we coped a little bit better.”
However, he credited Delhi for their performance as he further added, “But they (Delhi) are a really dangerous side. Before the game, I was very much aware that they are a team who like to go forward. The full-backs push on so much, it’s hard to deal with. We were 2-0 down and they bashed us up. They were better than us. It had nothing to do with our rhythm. They started very quick and hurt us. We were on the ropes for 15-20 minutes.”
The 62-year-old then explained as to what initiated the comeback from Jamshedpur’s end. “Once we went 2-0 down, almost immediately, we had a real drive to try and go forward even though we weren’t playing well,” Coppell revealed. “There was a mentality to go forward and I think that gave us a chance. Tiri’s goal from a corner was vital. That really gave us encouragement. We knew that Delhi could be fragile defensively.”
“We had to find a way to put them under pressure. Eventually, we did, but they were still dangerous on the break. They were giving us problems on the break all the time. They have got pace and that is one thing very difficult to deal with in football. Just raw pace. And even when we got back in the game, it could have gone either way, even at the end.”
Coppell’s side now have a hectic fixture ahead of them but the former Manchester United winger stated that his team was up for the challenge. “Certainly, the next game is difficult for us,” he said. “We will be travelling probably 12 hours tomorrow and then we got to play two days later. So, that is difficult. And for some reason, we are going from Pune to Kolkata to Mumbai.”
Not logical. But right from when the fixtures came out, I said the end of January would be the deciding point for us. It’s very demanding but we are up for the challenge. If we would have lost these two games, we would have been dreading. But now, we are thinking let’s see where we end up. We’ll have a go. That’s all we can do. Do our best and have a go.”
Meanwhile, Delhi’s gaffer Miguel Angel Portugal explained the difference in style of play for the two teams. “In football, there are different ways to win,” the Spaniard stated. “Our team had possession, we played fast and played well with the ball. The other team played a different kind of football game. They played with long balls and corners. They played this kind of football because their coach knows how much of a problem it is for us.”
However, he added that he was happy with his team scoring twice against the best defence in the league. “Jamshedpur has the best in defence, I know,” said Portugal. “But we scored two goals in 20 minutes and had opportunities to score more goals through (Lallianzuala) Chhangte and Nandhakumar (Sekar). For that I am happy. I am disappointed that we conceded three goals, but I always tell my team that I need three or four goals to win because our defence is the problem.”